After a blood cancer diagnosis, some people find it particularly helpful to talk to someone who has had similar experience. They may have been diagnosed with the same condition, faced the same treatment options, and may have shared the same worries, concerns, happy times or sad times.
We will do our best to match you with one of our trained volunteers for regular or one-off telephone or face-to-face support.
Our Buddies are people just like you who have a personal experience of a blood cancer. They are not trained therapists or medical experts, but they do understand what you’re going through.
Of course, your family and friends will want to help and support you in the best way that they can. But sometimes, just chatting to someone who has been there before can really help you to cope with your situation.
Once we’ve matched you with a Buddy, we’ll work with you to find a convenient time for your Buddy to make the first contact. Your Buddy may not be someone local to you, but you’ll be able to talk over the phone, or email them if you prefer. Hopefully you’ll build a rapport with your Buddy and chat regularly about how you’re getting on. There are no rules – sometimes you may call them, other times, they’ll call to check how you’re doing.
All of our Buddies are vetted, trained volunteers and will do their best to support you the best way they can. We’ll be in touch from time-to-time to see how the relationship is working and make sure it is suitable for both of you.
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) Buddy Support Scheme
Our Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) Buddy Support Scheme is a 12-month pilot based in the East Midlands. It aims to connect 15 buddies to provide support, either over the telephone or face to face, to patients with CLL.
Volunteers receive all the training needed to make sure that they can provide the best support and advice for newly diagnosed patients or their carers. The scheme is run by a dedicated buddy co-ordinator who oversees any training, assessments and referrals into this new scheme.
What does support mean?
This could simply mean offering a listening ear to somebody who is going through a similar situation. It could also include practical advice and information. When somebody is seeking the support of their buddy, they are looking for someone who understands the diagnosis and what to expect after diagnosis.
How do buddies make a difference?
Having somebody who understands your situation can help lighten the load. A diagnosis of any type can be a very worrying time and can become isolating. Talking can help a person’s overall wellbeing and mental health, and can help them to understand the day to day realities of a blood cancer diagnosis.
Can I apply even if I don’t live in the East Midlands?
Of course! The first six months of the scheme can be telephone-based. However, during the final six months, we will set up a support group in Leicester to meet once a month for all buddies and patients to get together. If you are willing to travel for the last six months, expenses will be paid for as part of this scheme.